The FTA (Federal Tax Authority) in the UAE has stated that there is a clear procedure for companies who wish to import products but have not been registered for VAT as of yet. Non-registered businesses that are planning to import goods into the UAE will have to follow the standard customs processes and pay VAT via one out of various methods that have been approved as per the FTA.

Companies are required to complete the import declaration form for the payment of VAT, i.e. Form VAT 301 and pay through the e-Dirham online payment service option of the Government on the website of the FTA. They will be backed by an e-Guarantee for ensuring guarantees which may be the clearing company or freight forwarder with FTA approval. This could even be a courier company which delivers products to the importer in question.

Processes for non-registered importers

The FTA has clarified the process through the e-Services portal for easing up the procedure for importers who are not registered. In case of imports for re-export, temporary admission or transit and other purposes, non-registered businesses have to offer the e-Guarantee reference number previously obtained, on the e-Services portal as per the statement made by the FTA.

Businesses are required to finish all formalities for VAT registration prior to the date stipulated for the same across the UAE. Yet, there are still several companies who have not registered for the new tax regime as of yet. This was made effective from the 1st of January, 2018. The UAE is anticipating revenues of Dh12 billion to Dh20 billion from VAT over the course of 2-3 years.

Key information worth knowing for non-registrants

There are two ways of paying VAT in case of non-registrants. These are payment of VAT upon imports and also the provision of e-guarantees. The process for non-registrants involves preparation and submission of customs declarations in the Customs portal along with subsequent validation of declaration information by Customs officials.

Post approval of the same, notifications will be dispatched for the importer and the FTA alike. The importer then has to create an e-Services account and login to the FTA portal for making VAT payments.

Steps to be followed by non-registrants for paying VAT on import in FTA portal

Here are the steps for payment:

  • Step 1- Login to the FTA e-Services portal
  • Step 2- Click on the VAT option
  • Step 3- Click on the VAT 301- Import declaration form for VAT payment option
  • Step 4- Fill up the fields like Customs Declaration Number, Customs Authority and Declaration Date and then hit Next
  • Step 5- The screen pertaining to About Declaration will be opening up and details of customs declarations submitted previously, i.e. import destination and date, will be retrieved automatically. Then hit Next again.
  • Step 6- The Declaration details screen will be opening again and declaration details like the Harmonized System code, customs duty, import value and the cost, freight and insurance (CIF) values will be retrieved instantly. Hit Next again.
  • Step 7- Click on the Pay VAT option since you will have to make payment and you will then be taken to the e-Dirham gateway page.
  • Step 8- Upon getting redirected to the e-Dirham gateway page, you will then be able to make your payment via the non e-Dirham or e-Dirham card.
  • Step 9- Upon successful processing of the payment, there will be a confirmation message displayed upon the screen and you will get an email confirmation on the successful completion of payment. Post this process, the process for customs clearance can be executed as well.

For further clarity regarding VAT payments in these scenarios, registration, company incorporation, filing and returns, GCC Filings is a great option for businesses. Their auditing, accounting and other services can also be availed for maximum convenience.

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